2006 AGM Decisions

November 16, 2006

The Union’s 96th Annual General Meeting concluded at the Tom Mann Threatre, Surry Hills last Wednesday 15 November. The collective results from this and the various Country, Retained, Newcastle, Central Coast, Illawarra, Sydney North West and Sydney South West Sub-Branch meetings were as follows:

1. Howard Government’s workplace laws

“That in light of the Howard Government’s extreme anti-union labour law now operating across the country, this meeting resolves to commit  the Union’s organisational capacity into exposing the seriousness of the legislation to all members and to actively campaigning for a repeal of the laws. In doing so, the Union is to write to all members and encourage active participation and involvement in the ACTU campaign strategies including:

  • participation in public rallies and protests to help raise the consciousness of the general public and the vast majority of the population who are not members of trade unions;
  • participation in the ACTU electoral strategy to unseat the Howard Government through resourcing and educating voters in seats held by Government MP’s by a marginal number of votes; and
  • through the active organising of FBEU members in industrial campaigns and disputes involving workers who have fallen victim to attacks on their rights as unionists as a result of the Howard Government’s assault on the trade union movement and working class people.”

220 for, 8 against, 13 abstentions



2. State Committee remuneration policy

“That the Union’s Remuneration Policy for honorary State Committee officials be further developed on the following basis:

1. The policy’s scope is to be broadened to include the Union’s President, thereby ensuring consistency in entitlements for all honorary elected members of the State Committee of Management and removing the hierarchical nature of entitlements currently embedded in the policy. Accordingly, all honorary members of the State Committee of Management are to be granted an equal annual honoraria of $2500; and

2. The payment of the President’s clothing allowance, telephone bill, internet service provider and current mobile phone bill are all to be replaced by the provision of a President’s organising allowance of $7,500 for use at the discretion of the State President in furthering the objectives of the Union.”

198 for, 28 against, 19 abstentions



3. Adoption of FBEU editorial policy

“That the Draft Editorial Policy presented by the State Committee of Management to the 2005 Annual General Meeting of members for consideration over the proceeding 12 months be ratified on the basis of the apparent integrity and utility of that policy following its test by the Union’s membership through the unprecedented use of the Union’s Electronic Members’ Forum during the development and discussion of the Trial of Workplace Reforms endorsed by the Union’s rank and file membership at the Special General Meeting held 14 September 2006.”

210 for, 13 against, 16 abstentions




5. Orion gas detectors

“That the correspondence from the Department assuring the Union that no data recorded by the detectors will be used in disciplinary proceedings against members and dated 3 November 2006 be received and noted and that given that undertaking and the importance of firefighter health and safety through the adequate provision of technologically advanced equipment on appliances throughout the state, this meeting resolves to lift the ban placed on Orion gas detectors and to henceforth allow the unrestricted use of that equipment.”

206 for, 17 against, 17 abstentions



6. Station Officers’ wage relativity

“That the correspondence received by the Union on 24 September 2006 seeking an increase in the rate of pay for Station Officer ranked members equal to that of Operational Support Level 2 positions (representing a 7% increase on current rates) and a petition calling for this matter to be placed on the agenda of the Union’s forthcoming Annual General Meeting be received and noted, and that in light of those members anticipating an additional and rank-specific pay rise following a notice issued by the Union to that effect on 2 March 2006, the Union is to establish a committee of relevant members including those who had initiated the correspondence to help develop and support the claim for inclusion in the Union’s next Award claim under the direction and control of the Unions’ State Committee of Management and subject to the endorsement of the Union’s rank and file membership.”

181 for, 30 against, 22 abstentions



7. Retained to permanent career path

“That the Retained Sub-Branch motion regarding an increase in the proportion of retained firefighters recruited to the permanent ranks be received and noted and that the Union write to the Department seeking an increase in the number of retained members gaining access to permanent ranks through recruitment campaigns.”

186 for, 30 against, 25 abstentions



8. Retained members’ access to annual leave

“That clause 10 of the Retained Award relating to annual leave should be amended to allow retained members to access leave in multiples of three days rather than the current requirement to access leave in multiple of one week.”

221 for, 2 against, 19 abstentions



9. Relaxation of the requirement for medical certificates

“That clause 15 of the Retained Award should be amended to reflect the current entitlement available in the Permanent Award whereby members hold the right to access three single days in any calendar year without the need to provide a medical certificate.”

222 for, 4 against, 15 abstentions



10. Life Membership – Comrade J. Gillen (Rule 52)

“That in accordance with Rule 52 (1) this meeting resolves to admit Comrade James Shaun Gillen as a Life Member of the FBEU for his unswerving dedication to the principles of trade unionism and the emancipation of working class people through a lifetime of service to the unorganised and underprivileged in society and in pursuit of a society free from the shackles of exploitation, degradation and loss of human dignity. Comrade Gillen was instrumental in organising stop work meetings, direct action tactics and the development of a generation of Union leaders over his 36 year membership of the FBEU. Comrade Gillen, who spent four consecutive terms from 1994 to 2006 as a unifying force on the FBEU’s State Committee and Executive, shall be remembered as one this Union’s most influential leaders at a time when the FBEU membership grew at a far greater rate than the rest trade union movement’s membership declined.”

228 for, 1 against, 15 abstentions



11. Honoraria – President (Rule 18)

“That in accordance with Rule 18(7), this meeting endorses the payment to the President, Comrade Windsor, of an honorarium of $1250 for the 6 month period following his election at the Union’s triennial elections in May this year.”

220 for, 8 against, 15 abstentions


12. Honoraria – Returning Officer (Rule 22)

“That in accordance with Rule 22(7), this meeting endorses the payment of the Returning Officer’s annual honorarium of $368 for the 12 month period following the 2005 AGM, as adjusted by 4% firefighter wage movements over that time.”

227 for, 2 against, 15 abstentions



13. Appointment of Returning Officer (Rule 22)

“That in accordance with Rule 22(1), this meeting appoints Comrade Nathan Begley as Returning Officer for the ensuing 12 months through until the Union’s 2007 Annual General Meeting,”

228 for, 0 against, 16 abstentions



14. Appointment of Auditor (Rule 40)

“That the accounting firm of A.J. Williams & Co. be re-appointed as the Union’s auditors for a further period of two years and until the 2008 Annual General Meeting in accordance with Rule 40.

223 for, 6 against, 15 abstentions



Simon Flynn

State Secretary



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